The advancements of technology have affected every aspect of our lives and the sports industry is no exception. Thanks to technology, the modern athlete can enhance their performance, and trainers can evaluate athletes’ performance via wearable devices. For athletes, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and other wearables have become an indispensable part to optimize training sessions.
As the market for wearables is growing, more and more developers from the IT industry are working on intelligent clothing, like Smart T-shirts, which carry data without an additional belt or bracelet attached to the athlete's body. These smart shirts can track the respiratory rate, calorie consumption, and heart rate. This is made possible by sensors sewn into the garment, reports Thomas Wingenfeld in itespresso.
Smart wearables contain a wide range of features. They can be used to automatically adjust temperatures using carbon nanotubes, for example, or operate smartphones, generate solar-generated electricity during training, measure all possible body functions and thus monitor health. Special chips that are integrated into running shoes provide information about the cadence of the runner, while socks provide information about the way in which the foot is put on when rolling. The number of manufacturers of smart sportswear who are constantly designing new products for the market together with IT learners or start-ups is also growing. According to estimates by market researchers, consumers worldwide will have spent around 52 billion dollars on wearables in 2020.
In Singapore, India, and Hong Kong there are now three out of four sports fans who have used wearables, apps, and other technologies in a stadium. In India, this should apply to 88 percent of stadium visitors. Germany is not that far with 50 percent.
The topic of Wearables for sports has also reached universities. At the German University for Prevention and Health Management, for example, the "Sports and Health Informatics" course has been offered for some time. The contents of the course deal, among other things, with the various digital and technical possibilities for fitness and health and implement them. In addition, students learn how digital training and assistance systems are evaluated in order to analyze their benefits and potential - in a target group-oriented manner. "The sports and health sector in connection with the IT sector have become important markets for growth and employment and their economic importance will continue to increase with regard to digitization," according to the University’s homepage.